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Dentist accused of causing 5-year-old child's brain injuries

Medical professionals in Ontario and other provinces must provide care to patients that would not put their welfare on the line. A dentist is accused by the Dental Association and College in another province of causing traumatic brain injuries when he anesthetized a 5-year-old patient and failed to take proper care. The dentist, who is facing charges of unprofessional conduct, was apparently not a dental surgeon and anesthesiologist as he claimed, but only a general dentist.

The hearing by the tribunal started recently. The child's father said he took his daughter to the dentist for a consultation and was unprepared for her being sedated. About an hour after the dental procedure started, the dentist informed the father that complications caused the child to stop breathing. She was rushed to the hospital.

Now, one year later, the child can no longer walk, and she can't talk apart from saying a couple of words. Reportedly she was left in a coma and spent several months in the hospital. Her father was informed that she would never be able to hear or speak again; in fact, she would never be able to do anything for the rest of her life.

The dentist apparently admitted to failing to report the incident to authorities and, in fact, continued sedating more patients after this event. He also admitted to failing to sterilize equipment, did not keep proper patient records and committed more transgressions. While the outcome of this hearing is not known, Ontario parents in similar situations can pursue financial relief through the civil justice system. This is a complicated field of the law and would be best navigated by a lawyer who is experienced in handling personal injury claims that involve brain injuries.

Source: CBC News Edmonton, "Hearing for dentist begins one year after Edmonton girl suffers brain damage", Janice Johnston, Alexandra Zabjek, Oct. 16, 2017

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